They were holding hands. A gentle breeze blew and he thought that there has never been and will never be a better gust of wind. It was the wind that comes after a nightly storm. Of waking up the next day, when the earth was still soft with water, yawning and taking a long walk to the empty school in front of her house. There he would sit on the steps of the open building and listen to the silent voices of the children who had yet to return. Then after an hour or so, he would begin to drift off. And in that drowsy state, the breeze would pass over him and he would slide down onto the sand, curl up and sleep until the afternoon.

When she giggled, he thought that there will never be a sweeter sound. She took a deep breath, said “ah…,” swung her right hand which took his left hand with it, and said “I love you.” He thought that he loved her as well. And he did. He must have, because his heart felt as if it was on fire at that moment. It burned and pained him and he wanted to resent her for it. Then he felt pitiful for that thought, and wanted only to take her right hand, which was attached to his left, and carve out the fiery organ with her nails. She could do whatever she pleased with it. It no longer mattered to him, as long as she saved him from it. When she turned up and looked at him, he saw the fire in her eyes was the same as in the one in his heart. Then the fear came to him that she would devour his flaming heart if he were to ever give it to her.

They sat down on the steps in front of her house. The day was coming to an end. She wrapped her arms around him and laid her head on his shoulder. He ran his fingers through her hair, looked out at the trees which had fallen silent, and thought, “I will never be better than I am right now.”

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.